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Avisail Garcia Milwaukee Brewers

Not to brag as a Brewers fan, but Garcia is in the BSOHL at 220 lbs instead of 250 lbs. Note Tyrone Taylor also is in the BSOHL at 210 instead of 190. All paths lead to the middle.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Michael Conforto New York Mets

Very measured $24 bid in CBS.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Garrett Hampson Colorado Rockies

I would have loved to have added Hampson yesterday in CBS - I'm a fan - but he went up to $9 at a time when that would have really caused me problems elsewhere.  So instead I ended up with Villar at $2.  Fair enough.

What's funny to note is that Hampson and Villar are only about 3 1/2 years difference in age.  It feels like they're about 10 years apart.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Jonathan Villar New York Mets

Well, I ended up with Villar in CBS anyway.

Not that I really targeted him ... at least until almost all my money was spent, and I still needed a MI, and Villar was still out there.

In fact, a lot of decent MIs lasted until nobody had money to bid them up.  Thus, Nico Hoerner going for $2, Adam Frazier going for $1, Solano for $1, Newman $1, Arcia $2, Ahmed $4, Rojas $1, Wilmer Flores $4, Starlin Castro $3, Brandon Crawford 1.  It's like 70% of the bargains created by the crazy early bidding ended up manifesting in the MI.

So I was at that "looking at the roster grid and seeing who could still bid on a MI and checking out max bids" thing for awhile, as I passed on a bunch of tempting targets that turned into bidding wars and filled remaining slots with cheap usable parts (Cooper 3, Aguilera 3, Carpenter 1, Pillar 3) trying to hold back a trump bid for Villar.

It worked.  When I threw out the $2 I had left, nobody had the slot/money to take him away.

Now I'm hoping that Peter is very right, and I was overly pessimistic ;-)

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Max Scherzer Washington Nationals

Funny enough, I was targeting Stroman and Gausman in the auction - had written down a combined $23 for them.

They went for a combined $28.  Ce la guerre.

Scherzer I bought because people let me buy him at $29, and I had no problem going an extra buck for him.  Kershaw I bought because he's Clayton Kershaw, and last year he looked like prime Clayton Kershaw.  DeSclafani, as I said on his page feels to me like a guy who will net $15 once he's no longer pitching in a home bandbox.

I don't really think that manager's discretion will be the limit on Johnny Cueto's innings however.  He was a "last of the dregs" $1 buy last night.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope

I've been thinking about going the extra dollar or two on pitchers who are free agents at the end of the year, with the idea that the clubs will not necessarily limit the innings of pitcher who might be elsewhere next year.  You got three in Scherzer, Kershaw, and Descalfini.  Others NL's are Stroman, Gausman, and Cueto.

John Thomas Roll2
Charlie Blackmon Colorado Rockies

Pursuing my "age before beauty" CBS strategy (more taking what the market gave me than a real strategy, but when the average age of your OF/UT will be 32 before April is out, it kind of looks like a strategy.  In fact the average age of my entire batting order is almost 32. *) ... Blackmon and Pham at $23 each were my high priced hitters.  

I like Blackmon among Colorado hitters primarily because I know (a) he'll play, as long as he's a Rockie, and (b) given his age, and his .727 career road OPS, and the $42 million he's owed in 2021/22 - I fully expect him to stay a Rockie all season.

* - looking at my reserve hitter picks - Brad Miller, Nick Markakis, Chris Owings, Danny Santana, Tyler Naquin.  What the hell?

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
David Price Los Angeles Dodgers

Good news to me as I picked him up in CBS at $13.  A mid-3's ERA should fetch a bunch of wins with the Dodgers.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Max Scherzer Washington Nationals

My CBS high bid ($29) ... and the cornerstone of my old guy pitching rotation, along with Kershaw $25, Strasburg $21, Price $13, DeSclafani $6 (apparently I'm not the only one thinking Cinci was his problem), and Moore $2.  Taijuan Walker ($6, which I consider a big bargain) is the baby of the rotation at 27 years old.

 Counting a lot on the National's trainer ... but given prices for other starters (Degrom 48, Bauer 35, Flaherty 32, Darvish 32, Woodruff 31, Buehler 30, Nola 28, Castillo 28, Gallen 27, Snell 25, Carrasco 24, Paddack 21, Gray 20, Hendricks 20, Fried 20) I'm kind of feeling good.  Using Peter's sheet, that was +110 for that 15 starters combined - and my top 3 were a total of -2.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
David Price Los Angeles Dodgers

David Price (P) LA - Feb. 23

Price reported to spring training last week and will play in 2021, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.

Alex Patton Alex
Tyler O'Neill St. Louis Cardinals

I had penned O'Neill in on my pre-auction buy list as my $5 OFer.  Nope - he went for $9.  Relatively neutral bidding around him (+4 for 10 surrounding picks).

I could see him turning into 2021's Pete Alonso still.  I just wasn't ready to bid double digits to see if he would do it on my team.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Eugenio Suarez Cincinnati Reds

The market was pretty much balanced out when Eugenio came out in CBS (+5 total for the surrounding 10 picks), but he still drew out $24.  In Cinci he can probably overcome the new baseball.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Tyler O'Neill St. Louis Cardinals

When you look at his BABIP and consider it doesn't include strikeouts, the wonder is he batted .173.

Tyler O'Neill (OF) STL - Feb. 23

O'Neill has been focusing on improving several aspects of his hitting over the last few months after mustering just a .173 average in 157 plate appearances last season, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. "I'm definitely more focused on that (offensive) side of the ball this year," O'Neill said. "I know it was a down year for me in the average department. I was still able to do some damage but obviously not in the way I would have liked and that the staff would have liked."

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: O'Neill offered Gold Glove defense in 2020, but his .173/.261/.360 line and 27.4 percent strikeout rate left plenty to be desired. Consequently, the 25-year-old center fielder went right into honing his craft during the offseason and got an early jump on working with Cardinals hitting coaches this spring. Specifically, O'Neill is concentrating on refining his timing and developing a less mechanical approach at the dish after posting sub-70.0 percent contact rates in all three of his big-league stints thus far.

Alex Patton Alex
Joey Bart San Francisco Giants

That was the opinion in CBS - a late $1 pick.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Nick Castellanos Cincinnati Reds

$25 in CBS, came when the crazy bidding had subsided some (+17 for the 10 surrounding bids).  You'll have to pay as if 2020 never happened. 

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Scott Kazmir San Francisco Giants

No, he's not in the Projector now. Of course not. But if he makes the team, or even if he pitches well enough to be assigned to Triple-A, he will be.

Scott Kazmir (P) SF - Feb. 23

Kazmir signed with the Giants as a non-roster invitee Tuesday, Buster Olney of ESPN reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Kazmir's last big-league pitch came back in 2016, when he posted a 4.56 ERA in 26 starts for the Dodgers. His fastball touched 93 mph in a recent bullpen session, above where it sat for the bulk of his career, which evidently convinced the Giants to take a chance on the 37-year-old lefty. The team probably doesn't anticipate him becoming a key piece of the pitching staff, but there's a chance he could at least win a bullpen role.

Alex Patton Alex
Edwin Diaz New York Mets

The appetite was there in CBS ($17), as he we only paid up more for Hader ($22) in the closer bidding.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope

One of the contributors to the eGuide this year (aka the Rotoman Special) puts it more succinctly.

PHIL HERTZ PICK: Elite skills remain and aside from a couple of early season stumbles, elite outcomes were featured in 2020.

Alex Patton Alex

Edwin Diaz (P) NY-N - Feb. 23

Diaz expects to close games for the Mets this season, though the team hasn't named an official closer and may not do so, Anthony DiComo of reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: It's hard to post more closer-worthy numbers than the ones Diaz managed last season, as he struck out 45.5 percent of opposing batters en route to a 1.75 ERA. Two of the five earned runs he allowed all season came in his first three outings, however, and combined with his 2019 struggles that proved to be enough for the Mets to drop him from closing duties for much of the year. He finished with just six saves. He remains the team's clear top reliever (especially with Seth Lugo likely to miss time following elbow surgery), but there's no guarantee he remains a true closer all season given the Mets' tendency to lose faith in him. Manager Luis Rojas kept open the possibility of using a more modern approach, sending Diaz out earlier in the game if a high-leverage situation pops up before the ninth or perhaps playing the matchups in the final frame, which could also limit his save numbers.

Alex Patton Alex
Garrett Cooper Miami Marlins

And in the endgame in CBS, I bought Aguilar (CI) and Cooper (UT) for a combined $6.

I think there's a profit there.

Add that Duval has, over his career, been a very lousy hitter in April (.214 BA, .729 OPS), and could create an opening with a slow start.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope

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